How to Close an Above Ground Pool for the Winter

Getting used to seeing the world through clear plastic bubbles and black shades of mirrors can quickly turn into a negative experience. This is because the good things that used to happen to you suddenly end. We’ll explain why swimming is important, how to properly close your pool, and how to avoid getting stuck in a pool of fire next year.


Why You Should Close Your Pool for the Winter?

If you live in a place with mild winters, then maybe you shouldn't close your pool. But, hey, if you live in a place with cold winters, then maybe you should close it.

Having a pool open for the winter season also means that you’ll have to deal with the cleaning and maintenance of its various components, which can take a lot of time and effort. It’s also a waste of money.

It’s important to make sure that you close your pool the right way. Doing so will prevent you from getting into a pool with a dirty, algae-infested cover.



This is a great idea to keep your pool closed when the weather cools down below 65 degrees. This method will allow you to keep your pool as usual until it’s time to close. It will also help keep it algae-free during the winter season.

If you have a few warm days during the winter, you can treat your pool’s water to prevent algae. This will give you an advantage when you open it next season.


You'll Need That Gear

You’ll want to make sure that you’re stocked up on all the necessary supplies for the upcoming year. But, in the end, you can still use them next year.

  • Above-ground pool winter cover
  • Pool air pillow
  • Above-ground pool skimmer cover
  • Cover winch and cable
  • Cover clips
  • Expansion plugs
  • Return line plugs
  • Pool brush
  • Pool vacuum or robotic cleaner
  • Shop-Vac or air compressor
  • Tools for removing pool accessories, like ladders
  • Winter pool cover pump


The Chemicals

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get started. Here are some of the most common chemicals that you should have in your pool supplies.

  • Water test strips
  • Chlorine or your choice of sanitizer
  • pH increaser
  • pH decreaser
  • Alkalinity increaser
  • Calcium hardness increaser
  • Algaecide
  • Pool shock
  • Cyanuric acid
  • Pool enzymes
  • Pool-grade antifreeze


10 Detailed Steps On How To Close Your Above-Ground Pool

After all, it’s time to start working on pool maintenance. This will take a lot of time and effort to get done, but it will eventually pay off in the long run.


Step 1: Clean Your Pool

Give your pool a good shake by lifting it up with a net. Then, use a brush to remove any algae or microscopic spores that might cling to it and cause it to bloom. The 360 degree brush head makes it easier to get into trouble areas. It was developed by pool servicers who were tired of using the same brush head for years.

Then use Robotic Cleaner to remove dirt and debris from your pool floor.


Step 2: Test Your Water

While your pool is closed, make sure that it’s covered and safe from the elements. However, just because it’s covered doesn’t mean that it’s bulletproof. Winter covers are typically not as effective as they should be.

Your pool’s chemicals should be balanced to prevent corrosion, minimize the clouding up, and protect it from water damage.


Step 3: Add Chemicals

Having the proper chemicals in your pool before closing will help prevent the water from becoming a swamp. But, this is not a regular maintenance procedure.

Also, pool enzymes can help remove organic contaminants from your water. And, if your home gets cold enough, use antifreeze that's not toxic.


Step 4: Shock Your Pool

After a long day, it’s time to wake up and shock your pool. However, remember that this will only work if the sun is shining and the pool is already burning.

If the algae has already bloomed, you can use more shock than usual to keep the pool size balanced. But, be sure to measure it out to the right amount.

If your pool is at risk of algae, add a couple of doses of algaecide after swimming shock. It’s a great way to prevent algae from growing in the first place.


Step 5: Take Lines Down and Dry Them Out

Getting rid of these pipes can be a bit challenging, but it's also a good idea to store them in case they get damaged. Doing so will make them easier to set up once the weather warms up.

You can do this by completely draining the lines and letting the air dry outside. This will prevent any guests from entering the pool.


Step 6: The Skimmer

This is the rectangular plate that's usually attached to the side of your pool. It's like a basket that's used to hold debris. You’ll want to empty that basket before you get started. Not only will you want to remove those leaves and twigs, but you also want to know what’s inside.

You can either cover or not cover the skimmer plate. Since keeping the plate covered is important, we usually recommend doing it. However, if you have a pool with a lot of water, this may be a bit challenging.


Step 7: Pump and Filter

When it’s time to recharge, remove all drain plugs from your pump. You also want to remove the chlorinator and all of the hoses. These components can be found in a basket inside your pump. Store drain plugs in the pump basket so they can be easily found next spring.

Your filter is a place where all of the debris that comes from your water can be collected. It should be kept away from the water and drained before storing it.

If your sand filter has a multiport valve, set it to winterize and remove the drain plug.

For cartridge filters, simply take the cartridge out and store it inside. You can also store it inside a pool filter cleaner.

For diatomaceous earth (DE) filters, remove all of the water from the pump and filter and then rinse off with a hose to remove any excess.


Step 8: Remove Those Accessories

Having the proper equipment and accessories on hand will help keep your pool clean and prevent damage. Having pool ladders and other accessories removed will also help avoid getting stuck with them all season.

If you have a saltwater pool, then it’s time to get rid of the chlorine generator. Aside from keeping it in place, draining it will also help conserve the water in the pool.


Step 9: Drain Part of Your Pool Or Don’t

Having a low water level will help prevent freezing damage, but it should be kept in check to avoid damaging the pool walls. Just under the skimmer will do the trick.

You can do it yourself with a submersible pump. Just make sure that it’s working properly and that you don’t accidentally take too much water out.

Also, make sure that the water you drain is properly treated.


Step 10: Install a Winter Pillow & Cover

Having an ice compensator or pool air pillow will protect both the pool's walls and the bottom half of the cover from the damage caused by ice or snow.

Put the pillow in the middle of the pool. Make sure that the corners are secure. Also, make sure that the air pillow is inflated to its full capacity. Protect your pillow from the cold by inflating it with duct tape. This will prevent it from getting damaged by the harsh weather.

Winter covers are designed to keep your pool water clean and safe from debris and contaminants, while protecting the chemicals that are used to make it safe. They can also make sure that all gaps are gone.

When it rains or snows, the center of the pool cover will eventually have a puddle of water. Don’t panic, though: It will eventually sink into your pool.


... and Look Forward For The Next Season!

The season has come to a close, and it’s time to look forward to the next one. Since it was a great season, and since we all took the time to close our pool the right way, next year’s season will be a splash.



This post was originally published on Pool Parts To Go


If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

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